Friday, 18 December 2009

I love Paris in the wintertime...

I was so looking forward to going home, back to England, where the fields are green, the wine mulled, the mince pies hot and the holly and the ivy plentiful. With it's frosty mornings, open fires, endless tea and milk, carol singers and it's houses distastefully smothered in flashing festive lights... I could not wait to take my plane!
But then it snowed. It snowed in Paris... And suddenly it became SO beautiful, perfect and wonderfully magical, that this Paris Pup had to revise whether or not to return to London, when gay Paris was suddenly adorned with all the Christmas charm one could hope for!

Effortlessly decorated by mother nature in lashings of fluffy neige, with sparkling frost on the windows, rooftops and balconies...(of course Paris waits for the real thing -much more classy than spray snow afterall)! Christmas has never been more Christmassy - so here is my Paris Xmas Hit List if you are lucky enough to be in the city of lights this festive season...

1. Hotel de Ville Ice Skating
Ice skating is always a wonderfully wintery thing to do with friends and my pick of Paris's patinoires has to be Hotel de Ville where the ice rink is admittedly very busy but this has the added advantage of being in the heart of the city, in front of one of Paris's most stunning building. What's more afterwards you can spend TIME in BHV and in the numerous boutiques, shops and commercial havens in the Hotel de Ville vincinity! Parfait! Alternatively why not check out the Eiffel Tower Ice Skating Rink on the 1st floor which is free once you have entry to the tower itself - what could be more quintessentially romantic?

2. Champs Elysees
Another festive must do is the Champs Elysees Market near to Place de la Concorde where you can see the Eiffel Tower, Tour Montparnasse and Invalides all at once! The market itself is again, crowded, but there are cutesome stalls, vin chaud and roasted chestnuts a plenty and lots of cute jewellery finds to be discovered, alongside animal figurines carved out of vegetable ivory and pashima venders. Be sure to take a few turns on La Grande Roue - Paris's answer to the Millenium Wheel which gives a terrific view over Paris's twinkly lights.

Outside Rue Mouffetard! Tres FESTIVE!
3. Rue Mouffetard
Being in my quartier, Rue Mouffetard is naturally often frequented by the Poodle, and at Christmas it really is something special - the well known vivacious street, with its cobbled stones and cutesy boutiques and bars, this is one road where you can meander with friends and enjoy the open air food market where you can buy the freshest of oysters to the most delicious strawberries! Further up the road and there are some very reasonable gift shops, clothes stores and shoe shops too - one of my favourite Mouffetard shops is Anoki who sell earrings from 3euros to scarves and wallets from 20euros - a great place to go to stock up on gifts or presents to self!
Let the Poodle know what your favourite festive things to do are! Wherever you are....!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Style for the Season

Christmas is the time of year when 'il faut' wear a beautiful party dress! For all those nights out during your Christmas vacation, for staff parties and girls nights out and the pinnacle Christmas eve soirees...

This winter it is the reign of Sequins and Shimmer when it comes to having a gorgeous dress (no matter what the colour! With so much dazzling sparkle, this is the season to be the centre of attention!) The Paris Poodle, has sniffed out the top 3 places online to find the perfect dress or dresses to enjoy the season in...

Find Me A Dress -Firstly...this new website is frankly THE one stop shop for finding the perfect dress...100% dedicated to dresses, not only does it have the best selection of dresses from Luella to New Look, from Debenhams to Diane Von Furstenburg, it also has a section dedicated to finding out what styles suit your body shape in its' "Figure me out" section. This is so helpful! And I wonder why not all clothing websites have this feature! It really does help you decide which dresses are going to be most wonderfully perfect for you - it's like having an online Gok best friend to tell you what will or won't look good. With its interview section with my favourite girl banders from Sugababes and The Saturdays, (I think the Paris Poodle should be next)! This shopping site also has all the essential girly extras which are 100% necessary inbetween browsing their infinite selection of dresses. It's also very simple to use, select a category (PARTY DRESS!) and then you can chose the size, colours, style, dress length and price that you are looking for and it does all the hard work for you - this really does take the pain out of dress shopping! I found this gorgeous satiny grecian Lipsy number thanks to their site!
Next up is a budget dependable classic favourite - is basically Asos but cheaper and with less fancier packaging. They have a great choice of dresses and I have many a cutesome dress for under £20 from there. With their quick delivery and amazing choice of purse friendly fashion there'll be no boohooing about them! At the moment they are doing a 50% off pre Christmas sale - how amazingly fabulous of them!

This sexy little number is only £10! What are you waiting for!?!

Dress Me Joyce is the answer to fashion that women have been waiting for! A totally bespoke dress making service, this website really strikes a high note with me for its use of real women to model the dresses, as the website claims "None of the women pictured on this website are professional models, but strong, modern women who represent the Dress Me Joyce ethos...Know your shape.Understand your style.Look your best." The Poodle loves! This feminista website offers its customers a choice of dresses which you can then have made especially for you in your perfect size, colour and with any alterations or extras you make want. For the festive season their "Audrey" shift dress in red satin - it's striking and daring and utterly feminine- so Joyce!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Screw the Scrunchie

It looks like France is catching on to the 'SAY NO TO SCRUNCHIES' movement Carrie Bradshaw and I are advocating. Look at this abandoned red number I found in the Marais!!!

That's one hair accessory well worth loosing! How proud I was to see that at least one frenchie is following my Poodle advice. I like to think it was ripped from a high pony tail after the wearer heard news of the PP blog - or on finally realising that it's 2009, not 1989!

This being said, I was rudely affronted by a yellow floral scrunchie on the metro today, with no where to move, it was forced into my personal space... so it seems that the Poodle has more scunchie campaigning to do...

Also, whilst being scrunched together on the metro, I noticed the plea from another exasperated campaigner who, like me is trying to eliminate any traces of bad french taste, (so that they really can live up to their flawlessly chic reputation) a poster, in the middle of the carriage proclaiming "I don't eat horses" - ou "je ne mange pas de chevals"- another worthy cause which is strongly supported by Brigitte Bardot.

Bardot and Connery - Horse lovers

At times like these I can't help but feel somewhat superior to some of the Frenchies, (which is often shamefully difficult when one is English!) Nonetheless, I can happily declare, that I, the Paris Poodle, do not eat horses, I don't wear scrunchies!

I look forward to the day when the French stop placing stuffed real animals in their shop windows (and stop wearing them too for that matter!)

I couldn't believe it when I saw this!

These reminents of poor french taste continue, but hopefully not for long... being of the animal kingdom, I have already found my local Animal Rights centre. But as for crimes against hair accessories - I think I'll soon have no choice but to call in Carrie and the girls if this scandelous scrunchie behaviour continues... Watch this space...

Friday, 4 December 2009

Tis the season to be sparkly...

and that mean's jewels galore, sequins, sparkles, diamonds, silver and gold! It's the same every December and the Poodle LOVES it! 2009 has certainly been a year for all things sequin, particularly this years AW collections, which always embrace the winter as a season of friviolity and festivity.

Jean Paul Gaultier knows how to do couture glamour!

The Poodle finds that there is no better way to adorn oneself to seasonal splendor than to get bejewelled to bedazzel! Nothing makes one feel instantly more glamourous and girly, or festively fickle than excessive jewels - be it statement pieces, vintage vamp or sensational sparkles. What's more jewels and jewellery make a great present - for yourself! So why not splash out on some outfit transforming pieces or invest in some year round me me me must haves?

I've been on the look out for the most glitterai and most gorgeous pieces for this months' nights out and have come up with my own little shortlist of the best bijoux's around, from Paris and Londres alike...

This Charming Girl

First up this vintage online jewellery stall specialises in all jewels kitch and cute, plus it has the most 'charmant' name - my french friends love it as much as my Brit chicks - which means anything from here is a fail safe purchase! This is a treasure trove of darling finds which have tiny prices but big reactions! Plus all their jewellery is delivered with sequin hearts inside- as if their cutesome creations weren't enough already! (

Check out their OUI necklace - me love!

And their 'Fly me to the sky' hot air balloon necklace is sickly sweet!

Regarde! The little pearl is being carried in the basket!
Next up is French jewellery boutique Saoya ( who have my nose pressed to their delightful window displays several times a week! Their nature and fantasy inspired collections all contain flowers one way or another and their unusual pieces are really quite special.

I love their Accroche Coeur collection -shown above (Kiss Curl) it's super sparkly and sophisticated and I adore the the topaz/fuschia combination -ultra sophisticated and ultra special, this collection has a vintage feel but doesn't take itself too seriously!

Their Divine Hellebore collection is also really something - with flowers shaped from mother of pearl and twinkly swarskovsky crystals this is baroque vintage chic with a touch of the bohemian!

Divine Hellebore! Divine!

Agatha ( is a typically chic french jewellery boutique which specialises in Scotty Dog terriers on wallet, purses and umbrellas and everywhere else you wouldn't expect to find one! But aside from this oddity they also do some great chunky, funky, classic jewels, bangles, rings and braclets like this one here- look at the size of them crystals!
Frey Wille
Last but by no means least is Frey Wille who do the most retro chic, coolio, look at me outlandish pieces for money burning prices! Prices aside, their jewellery is unique and rock and roll and artistique and not afraid to shout out LOOK AT ME, I AM FREY WILLE. I will leave you with some images of their incredible collections:

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A decorative December...

It’s officially December and that means CHRISTMAS IS COMING!! That means presents, lots of food, lots of parties and so much fun!! In recent days, the Paris Poodle has been learning how the French do Christmas. Through my decoration observation studies in Galaries Layfayette, Printemps and along Les Champs Elysées, it turns out that the tourist hot spots have had the most commercial X-mas Factor ploughed into them – the vitrines (shop windows) at Printemps alone have enough magic, mechanics and cuteness to keep you occupied for a good 45 minutes! Each one has a set of small steps and a platform so that the kiddies can get a better view- the moving teddy bears and puppets are accompanied by sinister music (presummably Christmassy), which for the Poodle, made the cutesome scenes of festive joy transform into something like The Nightmare Before Christmas! The little ones didn’t seem to mind though!

Cute or creepy?

Check out these pics of my festive fenetre favourites:

Aside from these grand gestures to be extra Christmassy for the kids, I have found that elsewhere the Christmas displays are much more discrete. Where are the marketing signs of pre Christmas offers? Where are the complementary mince pies and mulled wine when you go into shops? Where’s the holly and the ivy? And why don’t the French go Christmas carolling? They don’t even seem to like playing Christmas songs in the shops for fear that they will devalue their stock. In fact so far, the only shop I have had the pleasure of ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’ and ‘ Santa Clause is coming to town’ was in the 4th arrondisement when I was browsing in a sex shop. Somewhere in between the ‘How to control a man remote control’ and the ‘ring for sex’ bell I momentarily understood why the French don’t play these songs as incessently as they do in England... but it is only the 4th so I’m holding out for more to come...

The French may be less OTT in their approach to Christmas but they really cant help it - they’re not allowed to be overtly commercial and in your face. It’s a matter of ‘class’, of ‘sophistication’ the eternal understatedness that reigns in Paris. Nonetheless the Christmas markets and the hot roast chestnut stands are still in check here...and what’s more, I still have the outdoor ice rink at Hotel de Ville and the classical music concerts in various Paris cathedrals to look forward to – its still twinkly sparkly pretty in shop windows and main streets!

Although, the Poodle must confess, part of me is desperately longing to decorate my balcony with blown up illuminated snowmen just to add the retro to the oh-so-chic ness of my avenue des Gobelins Paris palace!

Paris Excess and Finesse

The Paris Poodle apologises for the late posting but I have been glamourously galavanting around Paris with my gorgeous girlfriends, frequenting Paris’s most famously fabulous haunts! After all, even in these ‘crunch’ ridden times if you can't have the odd blow out in Paris at Christmas, then where and when can you!?

The Poodle opted for a 3 course dinner on Saturday night with gorgeous girls and great company, at Les Deux Canards, with its typically French interior and quirky French cuisine- the restaurant is located in the back streets of the 10th arrondisement and you must book ahead or be beautifully rich to make sure you have a table.
The food and wine is utterly first class and beginning the evening with their cherry or orange wine is a great way to start! I finished with their cremalicious crème brulee which was burnt to perfection in theatrical fashion in front of my own eyes. This was enough to leave me feeling 100% satisfied, thirst quenched and well fed...until we found ourselves in THE Paris Four Seasons Hotel, George V – think Ritz and Glitz!

The sparkling rose champagne by Cuvée Louise Rosé was divinely delicious and the ambience of their marble floors, plush sofas, soft lighting and excellent service (every glass came with a selection of chocolates, nuts, olives and nougart) made this Poodle temporarily feel that excess is best...but as the bubbles kept bubbling I couldn’t help but feel that having drunk nearly 100 euros of champagne in only a couple of glasses that maybe DIY at home Glam could just be my new plan.... it has to be – I’ve used up my annual visit allowance to George V until next year! (January is only one month away!)